Lifers indicated in bold
When I went back to Syracuse following the Central Park Barn Owl chase turned wander The Ramble, I felt pretty confident that I would get to 300 by the end of the week. I was wrong. After a falling out I had on a field trip with my school's birding club that I've named "The incident on Derby Hill" later that week, which I came close to 300, but fell one bird short, I was doubting if I would get to 300 by the end of the month. I would be lucky if I could get there by the end of finals. That all changed when I got a notification about a Boreal Owl at the well-named Owl Woods tract of the Braddock Bay Wildlife Area. When Zac Babbit and Kim Badger invited me to look for it with them, I naturally jumped at the chance. The Boreal was a one-day thing like a Wood Sandpiper reported the previous week, but we decided to go anyway. I had checked eBird, and found out there was a Northern Saw-whet Owl at the same spot that day. After a short hike on a muddy trail, we saw the Northern Saw-whet in a cedar abou eye-level. I declared tht was #300 for the year! (according to Bridget Spencer, NSWO was "better than a Bank Swallow")
We continued onward to find a Long-eared Owl, but along the way got to see the release of a banded Sharp-shinned Hawk, two Gartersnakes, and got covered in mud up to our ankles. After a concentrated search, we finally found a Long-eared Owl high up in a tree before it flushed.
After that, we birded at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge on the way back to ESF. I got a few more yearbirds, including Bank Swallow, Wilson's Snipe, and Trumpeter Swan. Now that my fears of not reaching 300 had been alleviated, I could try my hardest to focus on school.
To be continued...
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